Will a Pest Control Company Remove a Skunk?
As in many situations, “…it depends.” Scouting the Yellow Pages or the Internet for “Pest Control,”
“Exterminator” or “Extermination” – logical places to look – you find a host of companies willing to rid your property of ticks, fleas and rodents, but until you search “Animal Removal” or “Wildlife Control,” you can’t be sure you’re on the road to solving your skunk problem.
This is not to say that some pest controllers/exterminators aren’t capable of addressing the problem; rather it is to note that skunks present a special case that many companies would rather not deal with. On one hand you have people with solutions depending on chemicals; on the other, people with hardware and experience that can be employed to catch the creature unawares, keep it safe and remove it to a more appropriate environment – and often without causing much of a stink.
There are differences both in objectives and techniques. Exterminators address their projects with a single objective: to find pests and to kill them. Animal removal experts, meanwhile normally approach their quarry with the intent to capture it without harm, to remove it to a place where it will be safe and will pose no further problem to humans, and to secure the property against further invasion.
Techniques differ as well. Exterminators set out to do just that: to kill the invaders and to try to prevent further incursions. Their weapons are essentially poisons, whether powder, pellets or vapor. Wildlife control depends on physical traps, deliberately constructed to avoid harm to the animal, even making the skunk somewhat comfortable by providing favorite foods inside the trap in the form of bait.
Removal of skunks and other small animals also requires some of the skills of a naturalist. In setting about to remove a skunk, you must have a knowledge of its lifestyle in order to be successful: where and how it rests; what it eats, when and where; and how and where it travels. Too, like other small animals, skunks have their own intelligence and they can learn to look for threats and figure out how to avoid them. Experience teaches the skunk, and ultimately the wildlife expert has to learn from the skunk.
The question resolves in a fairly simple way. Pest control and wildlife control are specialties, each with an area of expertise that supports its mission. Every trade has its tools, and it’s always wise to get the professional who is best equipped with the knowledge and tools for the job at hand.
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